Current and Previous Students
Current and Previous Students
- Maria Donovan - "The journey to cataracts: A study of UVB-induced DNA damage in cultured human lens epithelial cells"
- Reham Karana - "Role of RNA 3’-terminal phosphate cyclase (Rtca) in the degeneration of retinal ganglion cells and their axons"
- Regan Miller - "Comparing the effects of vegfa-165 and its anti-angiogenic b-isoform on the proliferation of human retinal microvascular endothelial cells"
- Anthony Premceski - "Exploration of the interaction between lens crystallin protein and αA(66-80) peptide using fluorescence spectroscopy"
- Maya Sammane -"The effect of light on dopamine synthesis in the retina"
- Adam Seidel - "Does Y285stop peripherin-2/rds cause retinal degeneration in the mouse?"
- Caroline Cencer - "UVB induced cataractogenesis: the story of DNA repair in the human lens"
- Jonathan Cheon - "Understanding cataracts: a biochemical exploration of crystallin protein aggregation in the lens"
- Naveena Daram - "Tissue and urokinase plasminogen activators instigate the Degeneration of Retinal Ganglion Cells in a Mouse Model of Glaucoma"
- Joshua Hohlbein - "Cholinergic amacrine cell survival contrasts the loss of aII amacrine cells in a mouse model of oxygen-induced retinopathy"
- Nicole Roussey - "Does Peripherin-2/rds (P/rds) shape membranes using disulfide bonds?"
- Quentin Thompkins -"Mechanisms of retina stress: the effects of exercise in type-1 diabetic rats"
- Natalie Wardia - "Maintaining and restoring adherens and tight junction connections between retinal vascular endothelial cells"
- Erin Feeney - "The Impact of Norrin on the Structural Integrity of the Ischemic Retina."
- Mason Geno & Nahrain Putris - "The Effects of UVB light and Hyperbaric Oxygen on the PAR/PARP complex in Human Lens Epithelial Cells"
- Kirsten Laux - "Systemic VPA can inhibit or accelerate photoreceptor loss in retinal degenerative mice with different mutations of the Pde6b gene."
- Brandon Metcalf - "A Longitudinal In Vivo Model for Studying the Chronic Effects of VEGF on the Retina"
- Nathan Spix - "Effects of Melatonin and Infrared Light on Mouse Retinal Ganglion Cell Activity"
- Jermyn Yohannan - "Association of Peripherin/rds C-terminus with Model Membranes"
SUPER Students 2013
Engy Alwashah is a junior and is majoring in Biology. Engy plans on attending medical school to one day become a surgeon. She volunteers for Grace Hospice and is the vice president of Oakland University's Pre-Professional Association Towards Careers in Health Organization (PATCH). Outside of school, Engy enjoys spending time her husband, family and friends, reading, baking and running. Engy is currently working under the mentorship of Dr. Chintala and former SUPER student, Wasym Mando. Her project entails working on the mechanisms involved in the degeneration of retinal ganglion cells.
Mirna Awrow is a sophomore majoring in Engineering Biology, hoping to be a physician. She is also part of the Honors College at Oakland University. She is also involved with Students for Life (serving as their 2013-2014 president) and the Neurology Club (serving as the 2013-2014 organizational director). When she’s not at Oakland, she works at Beaumont Troy Laboratory and also enjoys volunteering for St. John’s Hospice program. She researches under the mentorship of Dr. Frank Giblin.
- Mindy Cao is a senior with a major in biology and a minor in psychology. She plans to go to graduate school to pursue a Ph. D in neuroscience. In her spare time she volunteers at Oakland University’s Center for Autism, Research, Education and Support and works as a peer mentor for the university. Her hobbies include gardening, reading, and baking desserts. She works under Dr. Dao Qi Zhang’s mentorship.
- Camryn DeLooff is a sophomore majoring in biomedical sciences. She is a member of the Honors College, Alpha Lambda Delta, the Biomedical Sciences Club, the Pre-Medical Society and a volunteer for OUCARES. Her future goals are to attend medical school and become a surgeon. In her free time, Camryn likes to play volleyball, run, wakesurf, snowboard, and spend time with friends and family. She works under the mentorship of Dr. Ken Mitton.
- Mark English is entering his Junior year majoring in Biology and as a member of the OU Honors College. In the future he would like to either be a medical doctor or a professor with a specialty in Biology. When not at school he enjoys reading, hanging out with friends and playing a variety of sports. He is currently enjoying the SUPER program and is benefiting greatly under the guidance of his mentor, Dr. Andrew Goldberg. Although not finalized yet, his project may focus on protein purification.
- Melanie Gary is a biochemistry major with a psychology minor. She has varied and broad interests in science and medicine, including psychopharmacology, neuroscience, and organic chemistry. She hopes to expand her knowledge and interests through this work in the field of vision and eye research. Although she is yet undecided on her future plans, she hopes her involvement in the SUPER program will help her discover an interest that could lead to a career path. In her spare time she enjoys photography, drawing and painting, and riding horses competitively. She is working under the mentorship of Dr. Andrew Goldberg.
- Noor Tarabishy is a senior studying Biology. She hopes to attend medical school and study pediatric medicine. She is working under the mentorship of Dr. Kimberly Drenser.
- Paul Zlojutro is finishing his sophomore year with a major in biology, with hopes of attending medical school to become an ophthalmologist. Paul is a volunteer at Crittenton Hospital where he enjoys helping patients in the emergency room. He is also a current captain of Oakland University’s Club Tennis team where he helped lead his team to the 2013 National Championship in Arizona. He is an avid musician and enjoys playing piano and guitar. He is working under the mentorship of Dr. Kimberly Drenser and Dr. Ken Mitton.
- Heba Elghoroury is a sophomore majoring in Health Sciences and hopes to go to medical school after graduating. Heba is a member of the Muslim Student’s Association, the Pre-Medical Society, the Neurology Club, Alpha Lambda Delta Honor Society, and the Honors College. Heba researched under the mentorship of Dr. Goldberg and his staff and her project was “Expression and purification of peripherin/RDS for photoreceptor cell structure.”
- Noha Elghoroury is a junior majoring in Health Science and a member of the Honors College with future plans of attending med school. In Fall 2012 she served as an Honors College Cell Group Leader to help incoming freshmen with the transition from high school to college. Her project was under the mentorship of Dr. Chintala and her final project was titled, “Chronic alcohol feeding promotes loss of retinal ganglion cells.”
- Wasym Mando has had a drive to make something of himself from the beginning of high school to present day. Wasym has always had an interest in the field of medicine and an aptitude in science, and plans to become a surgeon. Wasym's family is also a very important aspect of his life and feels his parents have been nothing short of inspirational and amazing. Under the guidance of Dr. Dao-Qi Zhang, his project was entitled “The effect of light pulse on the dopaminergic neuron of the retina.”
- Kevin Roumayah is a Junior with a major in Chemistry, and plans on going into medicine in the future. His plan is to become an ophthalmologist, with a possible focus on ophthalmic surgery. He has continued working under Dr. Kimberly Drenser and her staff, under whose guidance he completed his project "Role of Norrin in vascular diseases of the retina."
- Trung Tran is a biology senior who plans to obtain a minor in economics studies, and his ultimate goal is to become a medical director. He is starting his third year of volunteering at William Beaumont (Troy) Hospital, and is also a member of OU Medical Brigade. He completed his summer research project, "Gene expression of inflammatory response in a model of early diabetic retinopathy" under Dr. Mitton’s guidance.
- David Byrd is a senior biology major with future plans for medical school. David is a TA for anatomy and volunteers at Odyssey Hospice while maintaining a 3.82 GPA. He is continuing his research with Dr.Mitton, who was his mentor for his research project, “Can Valproic Acid Increase Neuroprotective Gene Expression in RP?”
- Daniel Feldmann is a senior with a major in Engineering Biology. He is the president of Oakland Universities' Engineering in Medicine and Biology Student Society (EMBS) and member of the Honors College. After graduation, Dan plans to earn a Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering and focus on tissue engineering and regenerative medicine. He continues to do research under Dr. Frank Giblin. Dan's research project was entitled, "UVB Induced Activation of PARP-1 in Cultured Human Lens Epithelial Cells."
- Amaal Haimout is a junior aspiring to attend medical school. She is majoring in Health Sciences with a Pre-Health Professional concentration and is a member of the Honors College. Amaal is active on campus as Senior Advisor for Alpha Lambda Delta Honors Society, Treasurer for Neurology Club and Muslim Students Association, and is a member of the Pre-medical Society and Golden Key Society. She enjoys volunteering in Oncology at St. Joseph Mercy’s Hospital and tutoring students in Arabic. She has worked in Dr. Barry Winkler’s laboratory for two years and continues to work under his mentorship. Her summer research project was entitled, “Zinc: Needed for Vision But Toxic in Excess.”
- Charlotte Massoll is a sophomore with a major in biology, and her future plans are to go to medical school. Her hobbies include traveling, and volunteer work. Over winter break she spent time in Honduras with Oakland Universities Medical Brigades providing medical and dental care to over 600 people in remote villages. Her summer research project in Dr. Dao-Qi Zhang's lab was, “The Effect of Melatonin on Retinal Dopaminergic Neuron Activity in vivo." She is continuing research in the Eye Research Institute under Dr. Kimberly Drenser.
- Joseph Vercellone is married with three boys and enjoys spending time as a family skiing and traveling. Joe is pursing a second career in medicine and has been accepted to med school for fall of 2012. He loves the opportunity to continue to grow and learn as an adult and encourages others to never become complacent in life. As a SUPER 2011 student, Joe studied under the mentorship of Dr. Kimberley Drenser and presented on the "Assessment of Norrin and Adult Stem Cells on Retinal Neuroprotection."
- Adrianne Wallace is a junior majoring in Biology who plans on attending medical school upon graduation. While attending Oakland she has been involved in many organizations and is currently treasurer of the Honors College Student Association. Adrianne’s project was under the mentorship of Dr. Chintala and her final project was titled, “The Effect of Systemic Hypertension on Retinal Damage.” Adrianne is currently working in the PRRL lab.
- Alexandra Zetye worked under the mentorship of Dr. Goldberg and his staff. Her research project was, “Creating I-Sce1 Transgenesis Plasmids to Assay Photoreceptor Protein Interactions."
- Stephanie Alspach is a Biology/Pre-Med major. Her Summer SUPER project was, "Double Trouble: Overcoming the expression of the double mutation in the Frizzled-4 receptors in the HEK293 cells" under the mentorship of Dr Dao-Qi Zhang.
- Nasihah Barlaskar is a Health Science major. Her 2010 SUPER project was, "Cooling therapy protects rat rentina from metabolic insult" under the direction of Dr. Barry Winkler.
- Catherine Fick is majoring in Engineering Biology. Under the mentorship of Dr. Frank Giblin, her SUPER project was entitled, "Where's Waldo? UVA induced fluorescence in rabbit lens in vivo."
- Danielle Hine is a Biology major and worked with Dr. Kenneth Mitton during the 2010 SUPER program. Her project was, "The discovery of a retinal specific and alternate promoter regulating Mef2c gene expression."
- Omar Yaldo is a Biochemistry/Pre-Med major. Omar worked in Dr. Shravan Chintala's lab during the SUPER program. His project was entitled, "Retinal ganglion cell death induced by a nitric oxide donor and their rescue by Norrin."
- Katie Beabout enjoys life to the fullest. Besides her demanding course schedule, she enjoys everything from Art to swimming to watching science fiction movies. She is a member of the University 's InterVarsity Christian Fellowship and the Honors College. She does plan on graduate school for biomedical research. Her Summer project was "Effect of crystallins on survival of transformed retinal ganglion cells" under the mentorship of Dr. Shravan Chintala.
- Alex DeMare plans to attend medical school after earning his degree in biochemistry from Oakland. Alex is a Sophomore who enjoys volunteering at Beaumont's Hospice, OU Leadership Challenge, and Habitat for Humanity. He is in Oakland's Honors College and the Premed Society. His research project in Dr. Andrew F.X. Goldberg's lab was, "Cloning of peripherin/rds mutants to study the current disulfide bonding model."
- Michelle Dwyer is a double major, biology and psychology, and enjoys all water sports, snowboarding, boating and kayaking. Her future plans include medical school so she may help others who could not help themselves. Michelle's research time was divided between weekly meetings with her mentor, Dr. Kimberly Drenser (a pediatric retinal surgeon) at 6:30 a.m. at Beaumont Hospital, and in the lab under the supervision of Mei Cheng. Michelle's research project was entitled, "Target for retinal repair: Norrin's role in the activation of the Wnt signaling pathway for retinal regeneration."
- Wojciech Gryc maintains a 3.97 GPA and his major is biochemistry. Wojciech plans to enter the field of biochemical and biomedical research with an emphasis on pathologies of the nervous system, especially Alzheimer's disease and multiple sclerosis. He is an accomplished ballroom and Polish folk dancer, performing at various locations in Michigan. Dr. Kenneth Mitton was his mentor for his research project entitled, "Cracking the mouse: Investigating candidate genes for human retinal diseases."
- Michelle Kasprick is a biology major with an "eye" toward medical school. Currently she is a junior with a 3.93 GPA. Her hobbies include traveling, reading, volunteer work, and attending concerts. She completed her Summer research project under the guidance of Dr. Andrew F. X. Goldberg. Her final presentation of her work was called "Cloning cysteine mutants to further study the structure of peripherin/rds"
- Gerta Mane is a junior with a major in biochemistry. Her future plans include medical school and eventually earning a Ph.D. in neurobiology. She enjoys reading and swimming in her spare time and continues to do research under Dr. Barry Winkler. The title of her presentation at the end of the 12-week SUPER program was "Detoxicant actions of sulfhydryl-containing compounds in cultured retinal cells."
- Tenira Townsend loves dancing and hangin' with friends. She volunteers for the Child Help organization and is a member of Alpha Lambda Delta. Tenira's ultimate goal is to obtain a Ph.D. in biochemistry and be part of a team at an institute, such as St. Jude's Research hospital in the hopes of discovering a cure or treatment for an illness. She has been working in Dr. Frank Giblin's laboratory for almost one year and her research project was, "The role of thioredoxin reductase-1 in the lens epithelium."
- Daniel Breznau is an avid biker rider, making the trek from Oxford to OU in 48 minutes. He is on the Honors College College Council, volunteers his time helping freshmen assimilate into the college experience, and is a member of the Pre-Med Society of Oakland University and the International High IQ Society. His passion is science and is pursuing a career in medicine. His summer project was "Where's Waldo: In situ hybridization for FIZ1 in the mouse retina" in Dr. Kenneth Mitton's laboratory.
- Malgorzata DeRyckere, or Gosia, as she prefers to be called, plans to enter medical school soon after graduating from OU in 2009. While maintaining a very high GPA, Gosia still finds time to hike, mountain bike, swim and photograph all the beautiful scenery she encounters. She also plays the viola. She worked in Dr. Andrew Goldberg's laboratory this Summer on a project entitled, "BIFC analysis of protein-protein interactions in photoreceptor outer segment."
- Katy McDowell is an energetic mom, a full time college student, and a care manager for 8-12 elderly citizens. As a child, Katy wanted to become a zoologist to enable her to study or discover a new species of animal in the Rain Forest; she now is focusing on obtaining her Ph.D. in medical science. Her mentor is Dr. Shravan Chintala and her project was "Effect of inhibitors for protein kinase C and Histone deacetylases on differentiation and survival of transformed retinal ganglion cells."
- David McNaughton is a junior who aspires becoming a doctor so he may help others. He has always enjoyed learning and the sciences have fascinated him. He is a member of the Honors College, Premed Society, active in Habitat for Humanity and fundraises for Relay for Life for the American Cancer Society. His project in Dr. Frank Giblin's laboratory is entitled, "Identification of glutathiolated proteins in human lens epithelial cells".
- Jason Sotzen is a double major (Biochemistry and Spanish Language and Lit) Honor's College student. He wishes to attend medical school and specialize in vascular or neurological surgery. He has received Oakland University Department of Mathematics and Statics Certificate of Merit for Outstanding Academic Achievement, and OU's Talented Scholars award. His project in Dr. Mitton's laboratory was called, "Control of the FIZ1 gene: Subcloning the mouse FIZ1 promoter into a luciferase reporter vector."
- Mark McCoy, a sophomore from Sterling Heights, plans to enter medical school immediately after graduation in 2009. In addition to studying, Mark loves to read science fiction and the classics. His mentor was Dr. Frank Giblin and his project was entitled, "Identification of glutathiolated proteins in human lens epithelial cells following H2O2 challenge.
- Megan Horner lives in Troy, is a sophomore at OU majoring in Biology with the intention of attending med school. Andrew Goldberg is her mentor for the Summer Program. Her independent research project for the Summer was "Construction of biomolecular fluorescence complementation vectors for photoreceptor protein analysis."
- Nathan Rock, a junior majoring in Biology enjoys film and theater, art and design, anything outdoors, i.e., hiking, biking, etc. and computers. He studied in Dr. Shravan Chintala's laboratory and his project was called "Receptor-mediated effects of proteases on ganglion cell survival.".
- Diane Shahara, a die-hard Piston fan, is a Biology major junior who wants to attend a college of optometry. She worked in Dr. Sitaramayya's Ari's laboratory on a project called, "Summer fun with Connexin 36!".
- Mary Cha is a senior at OU with a double major, Art History and Biochemistry. Outside activities include tennis, yoga, running. She completed her 12 weeks of the Program with Dr. Ken Mitton on a project entitled, "In situ hybridization using murine retinal sections."
- Ronee Harvey is a junior who aspires to become a medical doctor. Her current major is in medical laboratory science where she holds a 4.0 average. Dr. Shravan Chintala is her mentor for her independent research project, titled “Plasminogen activators, acting through lipoprotein receptor, induce the death of differentiated retinal ganglion cells.”
- Dan Kasprick hails from Troy, Mich., and is a senior majoring in biology. His research project is called “PCR geneotyping of rds and peripherin/rds transgenic mice” and is under the tutelage of Dr. Andrew F.X. Goldberg. Kasprick wants to combine medical science research with his private practice in the not too distant future.
- Megan Stewart’s project is titled “Primer walking of pfloxneo-mfiz1 construct for future conditional. Knockout of Fiz1 in mouse photo-recepters.” Her mentor is Dr. Kenneth P. Mitton. Megan’s future plans are to obtain her Ph.D. in biochemistry. She is an excellent horsewoman and is past president of the OU Equestrian team. With her mother, she owns three horses that are her pets.
- When not marathon running, Dan St. Aubin is studying hard to realize his dream of becoming a physician specializing in emergency medicine. His research project is "Construction of NRLL-mFIiz1 vector for future conditional over-expression of Fiz1 in mouse photo- receptors" in Dr. Kenneth P. Mitton’s laboratory.
- Elizabeth "Liz" Zbrozek, a marathon runner, holds a 4.0 GPA in her science classes, which makes her an excellent candidate for a high school science teacher. Her current project in Dr. Frank J. Giblin’s laboratory is “Effects of UVA light in vitro on guinea pig lens crystallins.”
- Brandon Twardy is a senior majoring in biochemistry. His dedication and accomplishments will benefit his future plans of a career in oncology, emergency or internal medicine. His mentor is Dr. Barry S. Winkler and the title of his project is “Glucose and lactate utilization in retinal cells.”
- Tiffany Zair is a health science major from West Bloomfield. Her research project, under the guidance of Dr. Sitaramayya Ari, was titled “The effects of oxidants on gap junctions sand cell viability.”
- Tammy Koop is a post bach/pre-med student from Hazel Park. Her faculty mentor was Dr. Frank J. Giblin and her project was titled "The role of thioredoxin reductase in cultured human lens epithelial cells."
- Jennifer Shaba is a biology major and plans on becoming an optometrist. Her research project was “Control of retinal gene expression: Mapping of Fiz1’s protein interaction domains.” Dr. Kenneth Mitton was her mentor.
- Emily Henson’s career goal is to conduct medical research after obtaining her degree in biology. Dr. Shravan Chintala guided her through her independent research project, titled “Role of CREB and DREAM in protease expression in the retina.”
- Michelle Smith worked in Dr. Barry Winkler’s lab during the SUPER program. Her research project was on “Oxidative effects on metabolic and transport enzymes in retina.”
- Rick Schlaf is working toward a degree in medical lab science. He worked with Dr. Ken Mitton and another SUPER student on a project called “Control of retinal gene expression: Mapping of Fiz1’s protein interaction domains.”
- Robert Baker is a biology major from Sterling Heights. His first undergraduate degree is in mechanical engineering. His mentor, Dr. Shravan Chintala, guided him through his research project, titled "Role of TNF-alpha in retinal ganglion cell death." His future plans are to earn a Ph.D. or enter medical school.
- Marisa Dregansky is a biology major from Dearborn Heights. Her research project in Dr. Andrew Goldberg's laboratory is titled "The world according to GARP." Her future plans are to conduct research in genetics or microbiology.
- Widmann Hoerauf is a biology major from Romeo. His project was called "Expression and interactions of proteins potentially involved in transcriptional control of rod development." Dr. Kenneth Mitton was his mentor. His future goal is to earn a Ph.D. in neuroscience, teaching and research.
- Christopher Lutz is a medical laboratory science major from Auburn Hills. He researched "Super array analysis of hyperbaric O2-treated human lens epithelial cells." Dr. Frank Giblin was his mentor. His future plans are to establish a successful dental practice.
- Erin Mack is a biopsychology major from Troy. Her research project was titled "The role of disulfide bonding in the structure of peripherin/rds." Dr. Andrew Goldberg was her mentor. Her future plans involve conducting research in neuroscience.
- Zahra Firouzgan is a biochemistry major from Walled Lake. The title of Zahra's talk was "How much stress can I take before it kills me!" Her mentor was Dr. Barry S. Winkler. Her future plans are to attend medical school.
- Danielle Hobrow is a biology major from Clawson. Her project was titled "Developing assays of retinal mRNA using quantitative PCR (Part II)." Her mentor was Dr. Kenneth Mitton. Her future plans are to go to graduate school and study genetics.
- Janice Loffreda is a biology major from Macomb. She researched "Developing assayus of retinal mRNA using quantitative PCR (Part I)." Her mentor was Dr. Kenneth Mitton. Her future goal is to go to graduate school to study genetics.
- Stephanie Niec is a biology major from Otisville. She researched "Biochemical and genetic approaches to peripherin/rds function." Her mentor was Dr. Andrew Goldberg. Her future goal is to attend medical school.
- Nathaniel Whitcomb is a biology major from Romeo. He researched "Use of HPLC to investigate the effects of HBO in vivo on lens proteins of the guinea pig." His mentor was Dr. Frank Giblin.
- Aisha Chaudhry is a biology major from Rochester Hills. She researched the "Role of plasmin in retinal ganglion cell death." Her mentor was Dr. Shravan Chintala.
- Jenae Johnston is a biology major from Ortonville. She researched "Yeast two-hybrid random peptide/bioinformatics screen for mapping protein interactions of retinal disease proteins." Her mentor was Dr. Kenneth Mitton.
- Dennis O'Connor is a biology major from Ortonville. He researched "Light and electron microscopic characterization of developing photoreceptor-RPE interactions." His mentor was Dr. Andrew Goldberg.
- Sara Pelliccia is a biology major from Troy. She researched "Use of RT-PCR to search for the CYP1A1 cytochrome P450 gene in cultured human lens epithelial cells." Her mentor was Dr. Frank Giblin.
- Jessica Runco is a biochemistry major from Bloomfield Hills. She researched "A morphological study of in vivo hyperoxic damage to retinas of pigmented mice." Her mentors were Drs. Janet Blanks and Frank Giblin.
- Afreen Siddiqui is a biology major from Sterling Heights. She researched "Yeast two-hybrid system for trapping proteins binding to autoactivated receptor tyrosine kinase dimmers" in Dr. Kenneth Mitton's lab.
- Kristen Tebo of Walloon Lake researched "immunoaffinity purification and tryptic mapping of an ocular tetraspanin" with Dr. Andrew Goldberg.
- Alyssa Border of Bowling Green, Ohio, studied the retinal protein structure with Dr. Andrew Goldberg.
- Christina Callahan of Troy studied retinal morphology with Dr. Janet Blanks.
- Shannon Hollie of Farmington Hills studied retinal metabolism with Dr. Barry Winkler.
- Amy Litwinski of Sterling Heights studied retinal morphology with Dr. Janet Blanks.
- Michael Sauer of Lake Orion studied retinal metabolism with Dr. Barry Winkler.
- Erica Skidmore of Madison Heights studied lens epithelial cell cultures with Drs. Frank Giblin and John Reddan (Biology).